However, if you follow a few simple universal guidelines, you can help ensure a successful choice that will aid in your recovery.
The following are useful guidelines to follow in selecting a medical provider:
Get a Referral
First and foremost, you should always get a referral from someone you know and trust. Ask around. Is the doctor caring? Did you treat with him personally? Did you see him or his assistant? How much time did you spend with him? Did you get a good result?
Check their Medical Credentials
Once you narrow down your search of those doctors that you believe to be most qualified to assist you, check their credentials. Before selecting a doctor, research him or her. There are numerous websites that provide independent reviews of doctors.
Contact the American Medical Association and the Tennessee Medical Association regarding the doctor’s past behaviors: Has the doctor had any complaints filed? Also, contact the Board of Medical Examiners through the Tennessee Department of Health. Has your doctor ever been sued?
Assess the Doctor’s Communication Abilities
After you meet a doctor, make sure it is a good fit. Just because you have seen him once doesn’t mean you have a lifelong relationship. If you are not comfortable with him or her, seek a second opinion.
Make sure you feel comfortable openly communicating your needs – do not settle for anything less. This applies not only to the physician, but to the office staff as well.
If you are made to feel like an inconvenience, chances are you should look elsewhere. Keep these pointers in mind when picking a doctor. If at all possible, don’t rush the decision process.
In the long run, your health is the most important thing you have.
Be deliberate, be informed, and choose wisely.